Chancellor announces £31 million for subsurface research

19 January 2015

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne last week announced that the government will allocate £31 million of funding to create world-class subsurface research test centres through NERC.

This will establish world-leading knowledge which will be applicable to a wide range of energy technologies including shale gas and carbon capture and storage.

The project will develop two subsurface research centres that will be run by NERC's British Geological Survey (BGS). These will be world-leading facilities for research, technology and monitoring of the subsurface which will provide openly available data for academia, industry and regulators.

The Chancellor announced the project at the Thornton Science Park, part of the University of Chester, where the first site is expected to be located. The second site is still to be agreed.

This pioneering system provides an opportunity to improve our understanding of the UK's underground environment and will ensure it is closely monitored. It will allow us to help provide independent scientific evidence to government to help it determine future energy policy.

The results of this monitoring will be open and made freely available to the public.

The next step is for NERC to establish the project board which, among other things, will develop a full science case and a stakeholder engagement plan.

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